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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A mouse (plural: mice) is a small rodent characteristically having a pointed snout, small rounded
ears, a body-length scaly tail and a high breeding rate. The best known mouse species is the
common house mouse (Mus musculus). It is also a popular pet. In some places, certain kinds of
field mice are locally common. They are known to invade homes for food and shelter.
Domestic mice sold as pets often differ substantially in size from the common house mouse. This
is attributable both to breeding and to different conditions in the wild. The most well known
strain, the white lab mouse, has more uniform traits that are appropriate to its use in research.
The American white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) and the deer mouse (Peromyscus
maniculatus), as well as other common species of mouse-like rodents around the world, also
sometimes live in houses. These, however, are in other genera.
Cats, wild dogs, foxes, birds of prey, snakes and even certain kinds of arthropods have been
known to prey heavily upon mice. Nevertheless, because of its remarkable adaptability to almost
any environment, the mouse is one of the most successful mammalian genera living on Earth
Mice, in certain contexts, can be considered vermin which are a major source of crop damage,[1]
causing structural damage and spreading diseases through their parasites and feces.[2] In North
America, breathing dust that has come in contact with mouse excrement has been linked to
hantavirus, which may lead to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS).
Primarily nocturnal[3][4] animals, mice compensate for their poor eyesight with a keen sense of
hearing, and rely especially on their sense of smell to locate food and avoid predators.[5]
Mice build intricate burrows in the wild. These burrows typically have long entrances and are
equipped with escape tunnels or routes. In at least one species, the architectural design of a
burrow is a genetic trait.[6]

Breeding onset is at about 50 days of age in both females and males, although females may have
their first estrus at 2540 days. Mice are polyestrous and breed year round; ovulation is
spontaneous. The duration of the estrous cycle is 45 days and estrus itself lasts about 12 hours,
occurring in the evening. Vaginal smears are useful in timed matings to determine the stage of
the estrous cycle. Mating is usually nocturnal and may be confirmed by the presence of a
copulatory plug in the vagina up to 24 hours post-copulation. The presence of sperm on a vaginal
smear is also a reliable indicator of mating.[7]
Female mice housed together tend to go into anestrus and do not cycle. If exposed to a male
mouse or the pheromones of a male mouse, most of the females will go into estrus in about 72
hours. This synchronization of the estrous cycle is known as the Whitten effect. The exposure of
a recently bred mouse to the pheromones of a strange male mouse may prevent implantation (or
pseudopregnancy), a phenomenon known as the Bruce effect.[7]
The average gestation period is 20 days. A fertile postpartum estrus occurs 1424 hours
following parturition, and simultaneous lactation and gestation prolongs gestation 310 days
owing to delayed implantation. The average litter size is 1012 during optimum production, but
is highly strain-dependent. As a general rule, inbred mice tend to have longer gestation periods
and smaller litters than outbred and hybrid mice. The young are called pups and weigh 0.51.5 g
(0.0180.053 oz) at birth, are hairless, and have closed eyelids and ears. Cannibalism is
uncommon, but females should not be disturbed during parturition and for at least 2 days
postpartum. Pups are weaned at 3 weeks of age; weaning weight is 1012 g (0.350.42 oz). If the
postpartum estrus is not utilized, the female resumes cycling 25 days post-weaning.[7]
Newborn male mice are distinguished from newborn females by noting the greater anogenital
distance and larger genital papilla in the male. This is best accomplished by lifting the tails of
littermates and comparing perineums.[7]

Laboratory mice

Mice are common experimental animals in laboratory research of biology and psychology fields
primarily because they are mammals, and also because they share a high degree of homology
with humans. They are the most commonly used mammalian model organism, more common
than rats. The mouse genome has been sequenced, and virtually all mouse genes have human
homologs. The mouse has approximately 2.7 billion base pairs and 20 chromosomes. [8] They can
also be manipulated in ways that are illegal with humans, although animal rights activists often
object. A knockout mouse is a genetically engineered mouse that has had one or more of its
genes made inoperable through a gene knockout.
Reasons for common selection of mice are small size, inexpensive, widely varied diet, easily
maintained, and can reproduce quickly. Several generations of mice can be observed in a
relatively short time. Mice are generally very docile if raised from birth and given sufficient
human contact. However, certain strains have been known to be quite temperamental. Mice and
rats have the same organs in the same places, with the difference of size.

All members of the Mus genus are referred to as mice. However, the term mouse can also be
applied to species outside of this genus. Mouse often refers to any small muroid rodent, while rat
refers to larger muroid rodents. Therefore, these terms are not taxonomically specific. For
simplicity, only the rodent subgenera belonging to the Mus genus are listed here.
Genus Mus Typical mice

Subgenus Coelomys (East Asia)

Subgenus Mus (Eurasia to North Africa, except for the house mouse which is worldwide.)

Subgenus Nannomys (Sub-Saharan Africa)

Subgenus Pyromys (East Asia)

Subgenus and species Mus lepidoides

As pets
Many people buy mice as companion pets. They can be playful, loving and can grow used to
being handled. Like pet rats, pet mice should not be left unsupervised outside as they have many

natural predators, including (but not limited to) birds, snakes, lizards, cats, and dogs. Male mice
tend to have a stronger odor than the females. However, mice are careful groomers and as pets
they never need bathing. Well looked-after mice can make ideal pets. Some common mouse care
products are:

Cage Usually a hamster or gerbil cage, but a variety of special mouse cages are now
available. Most should have a secure door.[9]

Food Special pelleted and seed-based food is available. Mice can generally eat most
rodent food (for rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils, etc.)

Bedding Usually made of hardwood pulp, such as aspen, sometimes from shredded,
uninked paper or recycled virgin wood pulp. Using corn husk bedding is avoided because
it promotes Aspergillus fungus, and can grow mold once it gets wet, which is rough on
their feet.

In nature, mice are largely herbivores, consuming any kind of fruit or grain from plants.[10]
However, mice adapt well to urban areas and are known for eating almost all types of food
scraps. In captivity, mice are commonly fed commercial pelleted mouse diet. These diets are
nutritionally complete, but they still need a large variety of vegetables. Food intake is
approximately 15 g (0.53 oz) per 100 g (3.5 oz) of body weight per day; water intake is
approximately 15 ml (0.53 imp fl oz; 0.51 US fl oz) per 100 g of body weight per day.[7]

As food
Mice are a staple in the diet of many small carnivores. Humans have eaten mice since prehistoric
times and still eat them as a delicacy throughout eastern Zambia and northern Malawi,[11] where
they are a seasonal source of protein. Mice are no longer routinely consumed by humans
Prescribed cures in Ancient Egypt included mice as medicine. [12] In Ancient Egypt, when infants
were ill, mice were eaten as treatment by their mothers.[13][14] It was believed that mouse eating by
the mother would help heal the baby who was ill.[15][16][17][18][19]

In various countries mice are used as food[20] for pets such as snakes, lizards, frogs, tarantulas and
birds of prey, and many pet stores carry mice for this purpose.
Common terms used to refer to different ages/sizes of mice when sold for pet food are "pinkies",
"fuzzies", "crawlers", "hoppers", and "adults".[21] Pinkies are newborn mice that have not yet
grown fur; fuzzies have some fur but are not very mobile; hoppers have a full coat of hair and are
fully mobile but are smaller than adult mice. Mice without fur are easier for the animal to
consume; however, mice with fur may be more convincing as animal feed. These terms are also
used to refer to the various growth stages of rats (see Fancy rat).

1. Meerburg BG, Singleton GR, Leirs H (2009). "The Year of the Rat ends: time to fight
hunger!". Pest Manag Sci. 65 (4): 3512. doi:10.1002/ps.1718. PMID 19206089.
2. Meerburg BG, Singleton GR, Kijlstra A (2009). "Rodent-borne diseases and their










doi:10.1080/10408410902989837. PMID 19548807.

3. Behney, W. H. (1 January 1936). "Nocturnal Explorations of the Forest Deer-Mouse".
Journal of Mammalogy. 17 (3): 225230. doi:10.2307/1374418. JSTOR 1374418.
4. "The Field Mouse". Retrieved 15 August 2016.
5. "Mice : The Humane Society of the United States". Retrieved 15 August 2016.
6. Weber, Jesse N.; Peterson, Brant K.; Hoekstra, Hopi E. (17 January 2013). "Discrete
genetic modules are responsible for complex burrow evolution in Peromyscus mice".
Nature. 493 (7432): 402405. doi:10.1038/nature11816.
7. "Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association". Retrieved 15 August 2016.
8. "2002 Release: Draft Sequence of Mouse Genome". Retrieved 15 August 2016.
9. Sharon L. Vanderlip (2001). Mice: Everything About History, Care, Nutrition,
Handling, and Behavior. Barron's Educational Series. pp. 38. ISBN 978-0-7641-18128. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
10. "Mouse Info". Retrieved 15 August 2016.
11. Tembo, Mwizenge S. "Mice as a Delicacy: the Significance of Mice in the Diet of the
Tumbuka People of Eastern Zambia". Archived from the original on 23 June 2008.
Retrieved 13 August 2008.
12. "BBC History Ancient History in depth: Health Hazards and Cures in Ancient
Egypt". Retrieved 15 August 2016.
13. Hart, George (1 May 2001). What life was like. Time Life Books. p. 40. ISBN 978-07370-1007-7.

14. Encyc of Discovery Science and History. Fog City Press. 1 September 2002. p. 320.
ISBN 978-1-876778-92-7.
15. "Tour Egypt :: Egypt: A Carefree Childhood in Ancient Egypt". Retrieved 15 August
16. Shuter, Jane (2003). The Egyptians. Raintree. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-7398-6440-1.
17. Fontanel, Batrice; D'Harcourt, Claire (1997). Babies: history, art, and folklore.
Harry N. Abrams. p. 64.
18. Coln, A. R.; Coln, P. A. (1999). Nurturing Children: A History of Pediatrics.
Greenwood Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-313-31080-5.
19. Blum, Richard H.; Blum, Eva Marie (1970). The Dangerous Hour: The Lore of Crisis
and Mystery in Rural Greece. Scribner. p. 336.
20. Food Frozen mice & rats, Canberra Exotic Pets /, accessed 14
November 2009
21. "South Florida's True Rodent Professionals". Retrieved 29 May 2009.